Vegetarian. That’s a scary word. Believe me, I was nervous about trying abcV, too. But then I kept hearing that this was the best of the three Jean-Georges restaurants inside ABC Carpet & Home. I was already a big fan of the other two restaurants (see here and here) and to think this one could be better without even having meat got me all sorts of intrigued.
The problem is that it took me forever to find anyone willing to try a vegetarian restaurant with me. Every time I suggested it to my beau I got the Family Feud survey says X response. Finally, Brit suggested going post-workout and I loved the idea of the opportunity to eat post-workout without ruining all the hard work we’d done.
Similar to the other restaurants in the building, abcV is furnished with products from the store. This one, however, is more minimalist than the others. The walls are whitewashed and the pops of color are all millennial pink. There’s no need for a ton of color in the surroundings because the food itself brightens up the space. The food comes from the nearby greenmarket and they choose to highlight the vegetables’ virtues rather than try and sneak them by people who would otherwise be carnivores.
We ordered five dishes to share, and despite nary a bone on the table, it was more than plenty. First up was the half portion of the cauliflower, which had a turmeric sauce and basically a savory pistachio granola. What a great start to meal. This dish was super hearty and had deep flavor that I didn’t think was possible without charring the cauliflower.
Next we tried the avocado lettuce cups. This was a much simpler dish but the flavors were fresh and bright.
The beets were served carpaccio style with some avocado puree on top. Beets have a ton of flavor on their own when they’re roasted like this so it was delicious. It was probably our lightest dish so I thought of it like an intermezzo.
The green chickpea hummus came with a rainbow of crudités. The Thai basil gave it an almost minty finish. This is a perfect example of needing very few ingredients to execute a good dish, as long as those ingredients are high quality.
The lentils with yams was probably the heartiest, most protein-filled dish of the day. It tasty but perhaps the most basic. It’s a good dish to get to round out the meal when you’re concerned you’re not going to be full after a meal of veggies.
abcV removes the negative connotation around eating clean. This food is squeaky clean. Just came through the car wash kinda clean. But there was not one ounce of flavor sacrificed. This place could make a vegetarian believer outta me.